As with all things in life we come to certain truths sooner, later, or never at all. Self acceptance is no different.
For me, self acceptance has been a journey; as I peel away layers of limiting beliefs, stories I’ve told myself, and things others have said to me or about me, acceptance of myself has emerged. I think that learning to accept myself has helped me accept others. I may not like all that I see in myself, but I accept that this is where I am right now. The good news is that most things aren’t set in stone, so if I am unhappy with something, I can always take steps to change.
For a long time, I looked outside of myself for acceptance. I thought if others liked and accepted me, I was somehow “ok”. Only, not everyone liked me. Some people were mean, and malicious. People had differing ideas of what they liked and didn’t and as a result, I felt good when it seemed people liked me, and bad when it seemed they didn’t.
I compared myself to others. Of course I could never measure up. There seemed to always be someone better just around the corner. It’s just been recently that I realized that we all have our strengths and weaknesses in unique combinations. The recognition that we are all unique and therefore comparison renders itself moot. When I realized this fact, and embraced our uniqueness, it was freeing; it had a way of leveling the playing field. While women are competitive by nature, and comparison goes hand in glove with competition, I began to realize that while we may compete, and there may be a winner, it’ doesn’t follow that those who didn’t win are losers, perhaps it just wasn’t the right game. Perhaps there is really no game at all.
I began to recognize that I came into the world with certain skills and assets myself. It was my job to use them as best I could while learning the rest as I go along. That’s the way it is in all endeavors. Sure, there are some things that come easier than others, doors open; doors close, and we have to find our way around and through.
Every time I compared myself to others, I stopped and remind myself that I have skills and gifts too. Just as they were blossoming with their unique set of gifts, I can too. The more I focus on my own interested and cultivating my own gifts, the more I become “me”.
As we move forward in Six Weeks to Sixty, next to embracing change and being willing to change, self acceptance and self knowledge are the keys to unlocking our very personal next chapter.